Sustainability 2012, 4(10), 2430-2442; doi:10.3390/su4102430
Review

Identification and Selection of Alternative Scenarios in LCA Studies of Integrated Waste Management Systems: A Review of Main Issues and Perspectives

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Received: 2 August 2012; in revised form: 22 August 2012 / Accepted: 12 September 2012 / Published: 27 September 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Waste Management)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a decision support tool that can be used to assess the environmental performance of an integrated waste management system or to identify the system with the best performance through a comparative analysis of different scenarios. The results of the analysis depend primarily on how the scenarios to be compared are defined, that is on which waste fractions are assumed to be sent to certain treatments/destinations and in what amounts. This paper reviews LCAs of integrated waste management systems with the aim of exploring how the scenarios to be compared are defined in the preliminary phase of an LCA. This critical review highlighted that various criteria, more or less subjective, are generally used for the definition of scenarios. Furthermore, the number of scenarios identified and compared is generally limited; this may entail that only the best option among a limited set of possibilities can be selected, instead of identifying the best of all possible combinations. As a result, the advisability of identifying an integrated life cycle-based methodological approach that allows finding the most environmentally sound scenario among all of those that are theoretically possible is stressed.
Keywords: life cycle assessment; integrated waste management system; scenario identification; linear programming
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tascione, V.; Raggi, A. Identification and Selection of Alternative Scenarios in LCA Studies of Integrated Waste Management Systems: A Review of Main Issues and Perspectives. Sustainability 2012, 4, 2430-2442.

AMA Style

Tascione V, Raggi A. Identification and Selection of Alternative Scenarios in LCA Studies of Integrated Waste Management Systems: A Review of Main Issues and Perspectives. Sustainability. 2012; 4(10):2430-2442.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tascione, Valentino; Raggi, Andrea. 2012. "Identification and Selection of Alternative Scenarios in LCA Studies of Integrated Waste Management Systems: A Review of Main Issues and Perspectives." Sustainability 4, no. 10: 2430-2442.

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